• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How and Why Can the Voyages of Columbus and the Conquests of Cortes Both be Considered Major Turning Points in History?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How and Why Can the Voyages of Columbus and the Conquests of Cortes Both be Considered Major Turning Points in History? Diane Qiao Block 1 & 2 Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés were both considered heroes during their days. Columbus sailed the vast Atlantic Ocean four times throughout his life, between 1492 and 1504, bringing attention to the New World. Cortes led an expedition to Mexico where they destroyed the Aztec Empire in 1521. Their voyages were both considered as major turning points, for the better or for the worst. One of the largest turning points that Columbus had on history was the Columbian Exchange which was created during Columbus’s first voyage. It promoted interactions between the New and Old World, increasing the trade of crops, diseases, ideas, knowledge, and slaves. When he had landed in the New World, he had brought along crops like bananas and wheat and grapes as well as animals such as horses, pigs and sheep. ...read more.

Middle

Cortes collected incredible amounts of wealth from Tenochtitlan, the city of gold, as well as expensive jewels. In 1521, Cortes and his men had destroyed the Aztec Empire and build Mexico on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. In the past, people had thought that the world was flat and it was possible to fall off the edge of the world. Columbus believed that the world was round and that it was possible to reach Asia by sailing west. Through the voyages of Columbus, trade winds were discovered and explorers later on in history used this information during their voyages when navigating and sailing. Another huge understanding about the world was its size. Columbus had predicted the world to be much smaller than it actually was but after the voyage, he was badly mistaken. It was much easier to go out at sea knowing that they would not fall off the edge and the approximate size of the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

The natives had no immunity to these diseases, causing tremendous amounts of deaths. When Cortes returned in 1921 to besiege Tenochtitlan, smallpox had killed approximately one third of the Aztec population. When Columbus returned back to Spain in 1493, he brought back a disease called syphilis which spread very quickly in Europe and throughout the world. Diseases were used to the advantage of the Europeans during war because it weakened, if not, completely wiped out their enemies. The Columbian Exchange also encouraged the slave trade, and at the same time, strengthened European ethnocentrism. Slaves were brought back to Europe and sold, beaten and forced to do work. Europeans viewed these slaves as ?things?, thinking that they were better than them and that the natives needed assistance. Europeans thought of the natives as savages whose souls could only be saved by the mighty Europeans. This led to forced assimilation of the natives and millions of deaths. The voyages of Columbus and Cortes had greatly changed Europe and the New World, mainly due to the Columbian Exchange, greed for land and wealth, and religion. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Free essay

    IB I.A History Emiliano Zapata

    He was able to gain support of the caudillos by becoming a good guerilla strategist. He was able to rise up the ranks and ultimately controlled over 40,000 men at the peak of his reign. When he saw that Madero wasn't going to keep his promises he quickly disbanded with

  2. IB Extended Essay - How where the Conquistadors able to defeat the Incan and ...

    They were made up of three main states; Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan, these made up the empire and were spread across Mexico from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Tenochtitlan was the central and head state of the Aztec Empire where the emperor resided, and along with the

  1. Turning points in WW2

    RAF instead of tartgeting British cities, the RAF could well have been utterly destroyed leaving Britain defenceless from the air. Hitler may have been satisfied at this outcome at leaving Britain weaker, rather than invading. The lack of RAF would have certainly have weakened Britain's position in the war, for

  2. Gulf of Tonkin History IA

    his hands: the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and the negotiated settlement between Laos and Pathet Lao. If he were to fail in gaining control and stopping the communist movement, the credibility of the US would decrease immensely.6 Kennedy did not want

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Nature of the revolution: Course of 1905 1. 400000 on strike in St Petersburg after Bloody Sunday, strikes spread. 2. Potemkin Mutiny Sailors refused captains orders to shoot protesting sailors and took control of the ship. Spread to other units in the army and navy but most remained loyal. 3.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    with few exceptions, none of the Zionists disputes the desirability of forced transfer - or its morality" - Ze'ev Jabotinsky: "The only way a Zionist project could be realized was unilaterally and by military force" - Benny Morris: "As immigration increased, so did the Jewish community's identification with the Zionist movement...

  1. 20th Century History Revision Notes

    -wages and made more financial sense -chest of medals -oversees adventures -heroes welcome -sympathy for Belgians -felt it was their duty Halifax Explosion -an explosion in 1917 that was caused by the collision of 2 ships in Halifax harbor -Loaded munitions ship and red cross ship collided Events dividing Canadians

  2. Crisis and Collapse in Spain between 1793 and 1808

    In addition, they wanted to maintain some portion of the traditional market share to prevent the colonies from establishing new industries and trade links that would ultimately undermine the entire colonial system. These goals underlay the Crown?s decree of November 18, 1797, sanctioning neutral trade.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work